Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

It really doesn’t take much to make me happy any more. That’s not to say that I have everything I want. But, it is saying that I’ve lived long enough and done enough different things that I’m more and more content with what I have. I’m not looking in 50 different directions at one time and my expectations for miracles aren’t all that intense.

For example, I know I’m going to have an awesome day when my knees don’t buckle when I get out of bed. I know work from my home office has been just about perfect when I don’t have to call my computer service guy more than twice a day. I’ve started going to a barber school for haircuts, since I don’t have much to cut. Because they’re students and want big tips, I don’t hear bald jokes. Little things make me happy.

A couple of months ago, one of my clients topped my “happy chart.” As we were talking, I referred to a point in history I had witnessed, and Dianne acted surprised. “How old are you,” she asked quickly.

“You guess first,” I answered.

“About 49.” I looked at her stunned. Then I leapt across the table and kissed her hand.

“Dianne, I want to make two points. First, I’m 61. Secondly, I’m not going to lower my fee, no matter how much you flatter me.”

I was on cloud nine for days. Do I really think she was serious? Do I really think she was kidding?


Again, it takes so little to make me happy.

Earlier this year, Brenda and I were in Savannah for a wonderfully special weekend with our Savannah grand-girls and their parents. We had their Lexington cousin with us, and all three girls spent one of the nights with us in our motel room.

The next morning, we corralled our three spirits of freedom and wonder and went down to breakfast. There was much activity in deciding what to eat, how much to get, who was going to sit by whom. (Both Savannah girls insisted they sit by their Lexington cousin. Nana and GrandBob could have left the room and they wouldn’t have noticed.)

The point is there probably were very few people in this small room who didn’t notice our girls. We do have to admit, without reservation or prejudice, that they are all stunningly gorgeous. We almost feel sorry for grandparents who aren’t us.

As we were eating, two elderly ladies (who were even elderly-er than we are) walked by the table. The older lady leaned over to Brenda and smiled. “Your daughters are so beautiful and well behaved. It’s nice to see parents who’ve done such a good job.”

We beamed, stood up and said, “thank you,” without any reference to them being our granddaughters. I figured why take a risk of upsetting the old woman.

Suddenly, I was 20 years younger. Brenda was 20 years younger. This woman’s comment was such a miracle drug that we both could have walked four miles without our hips aching. However...

As the older lady walked past our table and passed through the doorway, her daughter leaned in and whispered, “Mom, you didn’t get your eyes checked like I asked you to, did you?”

Date of Blog Story: 
September 5, 2008

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